Monday, November 15, 2010

Couscous with Toasted Pine Nuts & Dried Fruits

Serves 6
Couscous with Toasted Pinenuts & Dried Fruits
1 small garlic clove, peeled & finely minced
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
large pinch cumin
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups water
1 Tbl butter
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup dried apricots (about 8), finely diced
2 Tbl dried currants
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored and finely diced
kosher salt & finely ground black pepper, to taste
First, make a vinaigrette:  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, diced shallot, cumin and mustard.  Slowly add the olive oil, pouring in a thin stream and whisking as you pour.  Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Reserve.
Next, cook the couscous:  Combine the water and a large pinch of salt in a small saucepot and bring to a boil.  In a medium-sized saucepot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the couscous and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat, then pour in the boiling water.  Stir to evenly distribute the couscous, then cover and let sit for 10 minutes to steam.  Remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork. 
Finally, mix it all together:  In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked couscous with the diced apricots, currants, raisins, toasted pine nuts and diced pepper.  Toss gently to combine.  Give the vinaigrette a final whisk, then drizzle over the couscous.  Toss again to evenly combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.